B E L L A M Y
There weren’t a lot of bars in town, and I was certainly not ready to go back to the place I was fired from not twenty-four hours ago, so Maria and I took a cab to the only other option.
We never really went to Maisy’s, because it was a little less...fancy—if you will, and the owner was a cunt.
I stepped out of the car in my short black dress, trying not to flash everyone in the process, and took Maria’s arm as we walked up to the entrance.
It was quiet outside, but as soon as we opened the door, the loud music and conversations smacked us in the face, taking over all our senses.
The lights were dimmed and candles in bottles were lit, creating a beautiful ambiance in a not-so-nice bar.
“Whoa,” Maria breathed out, leading the way to the bar. I rolled my eyes as we bumped into people, trying to push past them and taking ages to reach our destination.
“It smells in here,” I said, refraining from leaning my arms on the bar that looked a little sticky.
Maria ignored me, gesturing to the bartender. Of course, the guy almost sprinted towards us when he saw her, and I rolled my eyes again.
Everyone fell in love with her as soon as they saw her. To be completely honest, I almost did too. I remember her walking up to me on the first day of college, hips seductively swaying from side to side and her dark brown hair flowing down her back. I was mesmerized.
After we got to talking, however, I realized our bond was going to be of a different nature, and we had been best friends ever since. We got even closer when Maria decided to drop out and make a career switch.
“Can I have four shots of vodka and two gin tonic’s, please?” she asked the guy who was drooling at her, as I looked around the room for an empty table.
Most of the seats were taken, and I lowered my head when I recognized a few people from high school—a time I would rather not be reminded of.
“Yes,” the barman said, giving Maria his biggest smirk before he started to show off with a bottle of vodka—doing all sorts of tricks before pouring our drinks.
I just looked away with a sigh.
After a little more flirting from Maria, we got our drinks on the house and made our way to one of the small round tables that were still free.
“So,” I started, sinking into my chair and crossing my legs. “How’s work?”
She smiled, sipping her gin tonic before she answered. “My kids are doing amazing, Bella.”
I waited for her to go on, tell me about her love for teaching like she always did. Was it starting to become annoying? A little. But it was her passion.
“Sure, I can’t wait for this school year to be over, but I couldn’t be prouder of how well they’re all doing,” she went on, beaming with pride over her class. “I promise you, they’re going to be great people one day. Important, too. And—”
“And when they’re rich, they will always remember their fifth-grade teacher,” I finished for her, reciting the line she always ended her work stories with.
She scoffed with a grin, her hand going to one of the shots. “Yes. Alright, let’s do this, Powell.”
We clanked our glasses together, intertwining our arms and taking our shots. The alcohol burned down my throat, but it was a familiar, good feeling.
The second one followed straight after, and the edge was taken off for the night.
“Oh, shit,” Maria said, wiping her mouth before nodding her head towards the space behind us.
I turned, and instantly clenched my jaw. His messy, dark hair and tattoo-covered skin caught my eye immediately, his presence dominating the entire bar as he strode in with a girl on each arm.
“Daddy’s home,” Maria sung, running her tongue over her lower lip.
I frowned, facing her. I was mature enough to admit that he was easy on the eyes, but his ugly personality overshadowed his good looks.
I hate him.
“It is a shame he’s such a dick.” She sighed before taking another sip of her G&T.
I hummed, focusing on the brunette in front of me, hyper-aware of the wannabe bad boy that attracted all the females in this bar the second he stepped over the threshold. And let’s not forget some of the males.
“Anyway,” Maria continued, slouching back in her seat and flipping her straight locks over her shoulder. “You got fired?”
I ran my hands through my hair, letting out a harsh breath at the reminder. “Yes, Will finally fired me. And why?” I leaned forward. “Because I fucking stood up for myself.”
“What the hell?” she exclaimed, ignoring the stares she got from a few people with her raised voice.
I hummed, completely ignoring my shitty work ethics. “Some prick touched me without consent, and I punched him in the face.”
“Nice.” She nodded with a smirk. “I’m proud of you. Fuck them, right?”
I watched my drink as I tilted my glass from side to side, thinking about the consequences of my actions. “Yeah, but then I became even more unable to pay my rent. I loved that apartment, Herra.”
“I know,” she comforted me, and as I saw Noah walk to the bar from the corner of my eye, I was reminded of another inconvenience I had to deal with.
“That’s not all,” I added, pinching the bridge of my nose. “That asshole lives at my brother’s too.”
Maria raised her brows, staring at me with her big brown eyes. “Noah? Good luck.”
“Thanks.” I took a large gulp of my drink, though trying not to empty it; I had no desire to meet Noah at the bar.
It was probably for the best that we stayed far away from each other. Even though that was going to be hard considering we were now living in the same house.
“Do you know where he went, though?” she asked, clearly not as done with the subject as I.
“Where he went?” I repeated, unsure what she was talking about. He hadn’t crossed my mind once in the last couple of years, and now that I thought of it, it was probably because he’d seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth in that time.
“I heard he might have a kid somewhere.”
I choked on my last sip, tears springing into my eyes as I tried to catch my breath. Coughing, I brought my empty glass to the table. “What? Noah? A dad?”
We chuckled in unison, shaking our heads. “Yeah, it’s probably not true. But it’s shady.”
“Everything about Noah Taylor is shady, Herra.”
She shrugged, raising from her seat to get us another round.
By the time I came ‘home’, I was pretty drunk.
Fortunately, it was a fifteen-minute walk from the bar, so we didn’t have to spend money on a cab—which I didn’t have anyway—and Maria and I stayed on the phone with each other until we were both inside.
Stumbling into the hall, I tried not to wake my brother as I closed the front door behind me. I couldn’t help but let out a giggle, though, laughing at the way the world spun around me, probably making me look like a clumsy bitch. Which I was, but that’s beside the point.
It was when I made it to the top of the stairs that I heard some noise. I was too drunk to register what it was at first, but when it kept me awake for another hour, I had identified it as moans and screams from multiple women.
“Asshole,” I muttered under my breath, pulling my pillow tighter over my head and burying my face in the mattress.
I had no idea if he knew that I had moved in, but either way, my brother was here too. Right?
Another loud moan sounded from the room across the hall, and I jumped off the bed. Bad idea, because I felt the urge to throw up, but when I had gotten myself together, I rummaged through my bag for my headphones.
Loud music it is.
The sun was already rising by the time I finally fell asleep, and when I woke the next morning, it was safe to say that I felt like crap.
The combination of drinking too much the night before and not getting any sleep wasn’t a good one, and all I wanted to do was go back to bed and eat ice cream.
But, I groaned as I sat up, my eyes barely open and my muscles sore. Why did I drink so much?
Swinging my legs over the edge of my new bed, I stretched my arms over my head and pressed my toes into the soft rug on the floor.
It was already pretty hot for this time of the day, or so I thought, because when I checked my phone I saw that it was already past 1 in the afternoon.
“Whatever,” I mumbled at the device, shooting Maria a quick text before I threw my phone on the bed, making my way to the bathroom.
I was so busy trying to wake myself up, that I didn’t hear the shower running before I opened the door.
A small gasp left my lips when I was met with a perfect round ass and strong back muscles, water running down smooth, tattooed skin.
I shouldn’t have been gawking at naked Noah like I was, but I couldn’t look away. He had definitely been working out since the last time I saw him.
His wet hair curled slightly, bouncing back up after he ran his hands through it.
My eyes trailed lower, curiosity taking over as I absentmindedly bit my lower lip looking at his muscular hips and legs.
When he turned, I swallowed hard, watching water drip from his dick, and I was pulled back to reality when he spoke.
“What the fuck?”